When you can make your own unique and eye-catching meaty bookends, why settle with boring old bookends that everyone else has? This do-it-yourself tutorial will show you how to make concrete and faux succulent bookends that are as beautiful as they are functional. These hefty bookends serve a dual purpose of supporting your library and sprucing up your interior design.
Binding material for concrete
Two square boxes of cardboard (for making molds).
Plants, artificial or otherwise, in small containers
Grit sizes of sandpaper
Paintbrushes and acrylics
Safety equipment (including goggles, a face shield, and gloves)
Container for mixing and a wooden stir-stick
Scissors and/or a craft knife
Adhesive sticks and a hot glue gun
Stones or pebbles for decoration are optional
Step by Step Process:
Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace
It’s important to have a neat and tidy work area before you begin creating your fleshy bookends. Put on your safety gear and have all the necessary materials and tools close at hand before beginning the operation.
Step 2: Create the Concrete Base
You’ll need to mix and pour concrete to make the bases for your bookends. Just do what I say:
a. Create a form for each bookend by using one of the rectangular cardboard boxes. Check to see if the books you intend to use as bookends will fit in the box.
b. Smoothly line the inside of each cardboard box with plastic wrap, avoiding wrinkles and air bubbles.
c. Mix the concrete mix with water in a mixing container as directed by the manufacturer.
d. Carefully fill each cardboard box shape with the concrete mixture, which should go about halfway up the sides of the boxes. Tap the boxes on the side to get rid of the air bubbles and level the surface.
e. Wait the specified amount of time (often 24–48 hours) or until the concrete is firm to the touch before proceeding.
Step 3: Demold the Concrete
The cardboard boxes need to be carefully peeled away from the concrete. If they don’t peel off easily, cut the cardboard away with sharp scissors or a craft knife.
a. Take off the plastic covering the base of the concrete.
c. Sand down the concrete to get rid of any sharp edges or blemishes.
Step 4: Paint and Decorate the Concrete
Now that you have your concrete bases prepared, you can give your fleshy bookends some much-needed character. Just do what I say:
a. Pick out some brushes and acrylic paints. For a realistic succulent appearance, go with earthy tones like green, brown, and gray; for a more artistic twist, go with vivid colors.
Paint the concrete to look like the dirt you’d find in a succulent pot. Sponge or stippling techniques can be used to generate a gradient appearance or to add texture.
c. Wait until the paint is totally dry before proceeding.
Step 5: Attach Artificial Succulents
Put the fake succulents in whichever pattern you like on top of the freshly painted concrete. The stalks can be trimmed with a pair of scissors to the appropriate height.
b. With a small amount of adhesive from a hot glue gun, adhere each succulent’s base to the concrete. For optimal adhesion, keep it in place for a few seconds.
c. Continue doing so until the succulents cover the top of both bookends. For an even more organic appearance, consider placing ornamental stones or pebbles around the succulents.
Step 6: Final touches and presentation
Now that your meaty bookends are done, you can focus on the details:
a. Make sure there is no adhesive left on the bookends, and clean them if there is.
b. Arrange your favorite books on the bookcase in between your new meaty bookends. Take pride in the fact that you own a one-of-a-kind, practical piece of art that brings the beauty of nature into your house.
Some More Tips:
Make bookends using the cardboard boxes or plastic storage containers as forms.
Put plastic wrap inside each mold to make releasing the concrete a breeze.
Prepare the concrete mix in a mixing container as directed by the manufacturer. In most cases, you’ll need to incorporate water and stir until a pourable consistency is reached.
Carefully fill each mold halfway with the concrete mixture and set aside. For a level surface and to remove air bubbles, tap the molds on the tabletop.
Give the concrete the required amount of time (often 24 to 48 hours) to solidify.
Tear Up the Cement:
Carefully remove the cardboard or plastic molds after the concrete has cured.
Remove the plastic from bottom of concrete.
To get rid of any sharp edges or blemishes in the concrete, use sandpaper with increasingly finer grits.
Concrete painting and embellishment:
Select the acrylic paint colors and the appropriate brushes to achieve the desired effect.
Coat the concrete in soil-like paint to make it look like a container for succulents. Various painting methods allow one to achieve a gradient look or add texture.
Please wait until the paint has dried before proceeding.
Fasten Fake Cactuses:
Place the faux succulents or other plants in small pots on the painted concrete surface in a pleasing arrangement. You can use scissors to shorten the stems as necessary.
Apply adhesive from a hot glue gun to the bottom of each succulent and press it down firmly onto the concrete. For optimal adhesion, keep it in place for a few seconds.
Keep affixing the succulents until the tops of both bookends are completely covered.
Making your own meaty bookends is a fun and satisfying do-it-yourself activity. These one-of-a-kind bookends will not only help you keep your books in order, but they will also provide a pleasant, natural aesthetic to your interior design. Make your own realistic-looking flesh bookends with the correct tools, some imagination, and some time on your hands. Have pleasure with both the making and the finishing of this creative endeavor.
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